Utah State University’s recent acquisitions of the Swaner EcoCenter and Preserve near Park City and the College of Eastern Utah are helping the school fulfill its responsibilities as Utah’s land grant university, a USU vice president says.Ross Peterson, the head of the USU’s fundraising department, said Tuesday on KVNU’s Crosstalk that USU is obligated to provide opportunities to students and residents throughout the state, not just those who come to Logan for an education. With the Swaner EcoCenter and Preserve in particular, USU will be able to apply the expertise of its faculty and students to help maintain a facility started by a family to preserve land in the rapidly growing area of Summit County.”As they (Swaner family) looked to the future and said ‘How can we fulfill our mission,’ it dawned on them that as a small non-profit, the best partner (was) Utah State University,” Peterson said. “We suddenly have a new 1,200 acres of land with a building, with classroom facilities, you could have small concerts there, it’s a fantastic opportunity for Utah State to continue to fulfill the land grant mission.”The Swaner donation will join the College of Eastern Utah in Price and USU satellite campuses in the Uintah Basin, Tooele, Brigham City, Vernal and elsewhere in expanding USU’s services statewide.The donation from the Swaner family was worth an estimated $30 million, and is another example of the philanthropic spirit many Americans have always had, Peterson said. In these difficult financial times, the continued giving of friends of the university is critical to helping university students to receive a top education.”Utah State University is very thrilled with those who have decided that they can trust us and invest in us so that other people can benefit for generations,” Peterson said.
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